Another book on the dry-fly should perhaps be accompanied by an apology, so many anglers having already written in praise of the most seductive lure that can be offered to a trout; but 1 have been so frequently asked to produce an elementary work on the fascinating subject that I have at last consented.
Those who have been fishing the floating fly for many years may be surprised to learn how much misconception exists regarding their favourite method. It is still looked upon in many quarters as something mysterious, something demanding superlative skill and even erudition, something applicable only to certain waters; whereas the fact is that it is as simple as it is deadly, and more generally useful than any other.
My chit if purpose is to make known the virtues of the dry-fly to Scottish anglers and others, whose great privilege it is to fish streams of cheerful flow; to show them how they may take trout with the fly both from the sparkling currents and the placid pools, not only in spring, but also in the height of summer, not under cover of darkness, but n the happier sunlight. In June, July and August, during which period most fishing is done and fewest fish are captured, it is impossible to obtain sport by day with the ordinary patterns of wet-fly in any but the most inaccessible waters; consequently the fisher seeks the river by night. He would, I ain sure, much rather fish during the day, but his first desire is to catch trout, and he solves the difficulty by going out only after sunset, whereas a much better solution from every point of view awaits him, viz. a floating fly.
I do not ask him to discontinue the use of any lure, but wish only to introduce to him another, and I assure him that, if he can place correctly at the first cast the correct pattern of dry-fly to a rising trout, he will succeed in raising the fish.
As I address those who have experience of fly fishing, and as I am of opinion that even the most elaborate printed instructions on the science and art of casting are of negligible value, I have given little or no attention to this branch of the subject. The wet-fly fisher can already perform some tricks with the rod and, when he adopts the floating fly, he will soon develop his skill sufficiently to enable him to circumvent the usually fatal " drag."
I have to thank Mr. Edward Curwen for the beautiful drawings he has provided, and other friends who have been kind enough to give assistance with the remaining illustrations.
My thanks are due also to the Editor of the Glasgow Herald for permitting me to use such parts of the book as have already appeared in that journal.
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